Struggles A Senior
COMMENTS This story was controversial because this student did not want the reasons why he had to leave his house for the summer included in the story. It was not a conventional story and so some students on staff did not understand why it was incorporated. I thought it was important to highlight even the tough situations.
ends meet to make
At the beginning of June, senior Anthony Carrothers learned what it was like to be an adult. “I moved out of my parents’ house and I was in my cars for hours because I didn’t know where to live. Finally I thought about living with my cousin,” Carrothers said. Carrothers 20-year old cousin lives in Hazelwood, Missouri and was rarely home. “I had to pay for everything: my gas, utilities, bills and food,” Carrothers said. To help pay for his bills, while on his own, Carrothers worked at Six Flags for 25 hours a week. “I ran the Ferris Wheel and Mr. Freeze,” Carrothers said. Carrothers believed that it would be easy to support himself because he was making over $150 a week. “It was going really well at the beginning of the summer until Six Flags cut down my hours to only weekends,” Carrothers said. After his hours were cut, Carrothers found living on his more challenging. “I could barely pay my bills. There was no gas in my car and I was spending my money on the wrong things,” Carrothers said. More than half of the money that Carrothers earned went to gas. “It was a 45 minute drive to work. It really added up,” Carrothers said. Carrothers had to learn how to manage his money and time. “That was probably the hardest part. I wasn’t eating or sleeping and I bought all my food from restaurants. People have no idea how expensive eating at McDonalds is,” Carrothers said. Carrothers did not receive any financial help from his cousin or his parents. “I was on my own. I didn’t even talk to my parents for two months. It was hard being responsible for myself,” Carrothers said. Carrothers learned that living on his own and supporting himself was not as easy as he thought. “I had all the freedom I wanted and no rules. It was so hard, but such a learning experience,” Carrothers said. Carrothers would not do it over again if given the chance. “I got a taste of what is going to be like to be an adult and I am not ready for it yet. I just try to learn from the mistakes I’ve made,” Carrothers said. After three months of living on his own, Carrothers moved back in with his parents. “My parents saw how much I was struggling and asked me to come back home. I was so happy! I learned that everybody will have to deal with the real world eventually I just got a head start,” Carrothers said.
COMMENTS I wanted to cover this senior because her story was very unique. It took about three interviews for me to understand exactly how the re-enacting festivals work. She actually assumes the role of a Renaissance character.
Centuries meet When
She bows, she smiles, she gives tribute. Senior Rowan Hamilton has re-enacted the Middle Ages with her family for the past three years. “What I do is not like a Medieval festival where there are actors and spectators coming to watch. Instead, everyone that comes is in period clothing, living as if we were middle class citizens for an entire week,” Hamilton said. To prepare for festivals Hamilton and her mother design and sew period clothing. “Period style clothing that participants wear is called garb. My mom and I spend on average an entire month to plan, get fabrics, and sew one medium difficulty dress. We make all the clothing for my entire family,” Hamilton said. Hamilton and her family chose a festival in Smithville Lake, Kansas in June. Over 2000 people attended this festival called Lillies War. “My favorite time period to re-enact is mid-12th century Persia. In Kansas, we stayed for a week in period tents and acted as an upper-middle class family,” Hamilton said. Although families act as if they are living in the period, there is still a reminder of modern society. “It is kind of nice to get away from modern technology for a little while. But you can never fully get away. People use their cell phones and even order pizza,” Hamilton said. For a day event, Hamilton arrives with her family in the early afternoon in garb and sign in at the Troll. “We choose a time period, pick a place in the country with that time period and we act within that. During the festivals we can participate in all day events like fighting, archery and feasting. I even can go see the king of the kingdom,” Hamilton said. The king for one kingdom is chosen through a series of battles. Rattan wood wrapped in foam and duct tape are used as swords. Each kingdom has a king and the United States is broken up into different kingdoms. “St. Louis is in the kingdom of Calontir and the Baroney of Three Rivers. As an actor I could go to any of the events in any of the kingdoms,” Hamilton said. While participating in these festivals, actors learn about the way people lived in the Middle Ages while feasting, playing archery and fighting in full armor. “I loved learning about how the average person lived and what they believed in. There is a huge difference in the things that our society values. It is humbling living and understanding another culture in another time period,” Hamilton said.